Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cawfee Tawk

I rarely remember to share my articles here anymore, but this one (another notepad-clearing Postcard From Europe stew) seems a discussion starter on several topics.

- Greg Seltzer


dikranovich said...

oh no, another european american straddling the fence. USA really needs to start playing hardball with these duel nationals.

Greg Seltzer said...

Hardball, eh? Yeah, that will warm them up.

dikranovich said...

greg, warm them up? is that what you think it is all about? no son, are you friggin nutz. guys work their whole lives to build up to the us national team and you are talking about placating some duel internationals who have US elligibility.

greg, at least you have resolved to expose this problem in one fell swoop. its clear as day now. this whole situation is making usa soccer look weak, and i hate to have to say that.

Greg Seltzer said...

Not "playing hardball" with a 20-year-old genuinely stuck between two places is placating? Do you want to give them a home or treat them like property?

And umm, let's be clear: dual nationals ARE Americans. They are not some sort of half person.

As for making US soccer look weak, grow up. It's not like we're the only country that goes through this and we have had hundreds of caps from dual nationals in the last two decades. The only thing making us look weak is a feckless loss in Honduras.

heythisisrobbie said...

Devil's advocate: that weak loss to Honduras was with a starting lineup that consisted of almost 40% German born players.

And a German coach...

The point is, you can't exactly dismiss what Dik (and others) are saying as asinine right now.

Greg Seltzer said...

That might add up if:

1 - The German coached the team like Germany west.

2 - Chandler wasn't an injury replacement, Johnson actually belonged at left back, Klinsi didn't insist on playing defensive midfield overload with no proper playmaker and the two big field busts of the night weren't from MLS and recently of MLS.

3 - Most everybody out there didn't have some, most or all of those Germericans in their line-ups before the game.

dikranovich said...

this story is not about duel nationals, and i think you dog gone well know this. it is about how a country is managing its player pool, and it does not look good when some of these players are gifted roles within the national team.

to me it is like honduras handling najar, that is good, but maybe el salvador handling arturo alverez, that was not as good, and maybe USA is more closer to resembling el salvador, and that is not a good thing.

how many american players in our pool feel the same way as preston zimmerman, rightly or wrongly? and how does this larger issue affect USA going forward. there is just a sense out there, that some good players are being over looked, in favor of other players, who maybe have not paid their dues, to be given such a position of stature.

Greg Seltzer said...

I was not aware they collected dues to play on the national team. Last time I checked, it was mostly by (perceived) merit.

And ffs... an American is an American is an American. I do not care if he was born in Stuttgart, Stubenville or on Mars. Write it down.

heythisisrobbie said...

It's Steubenville ;-).

I agree that the problem is JK's lineup decisions and schemes. But you can't completely dismiss the notion that this team doesn't play with the same heart as teams in the past because the badge means less.

It may be much more of a reach than your opinion but there's no way you can eliminate that as a hypothesis.

Greg Seltzer said...

Forgive me... my spelling of Germanic town names is spotty.

As for heart, how would you even be able to tell that was an issue? Let's talk hypothesis when it has some supporting evidence. Or, ya know, when the team looks like they have a real plan out there and such intangibles can actually come into play. We ain't there yet.

heythisisrobbie said...

I agree. However, this team is nowhere near as gritty as past versions were. I think that is blatantly obvious.

Is that Mr. Cheezle's fault? Probably. But it is still unnerving and you shouldn't dismiss other possibilities.

heythisisrobbie said...

Sort of changing the topic but kind of still talking about dual national lineup changes that could improve the team, I want to bring up Mix.

Both Mix and Mr. Cheezle are different cats that think outside of their respective boxes. I thought one of two things would happen when he got a camp call:

1. They'd be instantaneous BFFs


2. Their personalities would be in incompatible and they wouldn't understand how the other ticks.

Mix and JK are about as intelligent as they come in the world of sports, and I have a weird feeling that there was a major misunderstanding back in January. Outside of that I have no logical explanation as to why he was left off the Canada squad.

Thoughts Greg?

Jay said...

Personally, I've seen just as much losing-late-in-a-game waffling from Bob's reign as I have from Jürgen's. Claiming that "heart" is the issue and that "the badge means less" for some players smacks of isolationist propaganda and, frankly, is borderline racist. "The German-Americans lack heart because they aren't true Americans." Bullshit. When you trot out the no true Scotsman argument over and over again, at some point someone has to question which of your own issues you're projecting onto the discussion.

Some of this crowd was cranky that Mix didn't make the roster against Canada, but isn't he just as "not American" as Jermaine Jones? Is Feilhaber "not American" because he was born in Brazil? You can't have it both ways. Guess what! Americans don't always look just like you. Diversity is the only definition.

This crap seriously has to fucking stop.

dikranovich said...

hey aunt esther, in case you have been on the moon or something, we want fabian johnson at left back.

take a deep breathe. jay, im sure you are aware of the little stat that states that no team has ever won a world cup with a foreign coach.

dikranovich said...

for the record, i think if any team can win a world cup with a foreign coach, it might in fact be the USA, or maybe greece.

is it heart, is it tactics, is it lack of width, is it players playing out of position?

i think if we could identify a national style, and have something to relate to, that would really make a big difference.

dikranovich said...

you know why the 4-3-3 does not work for the USA? because it does not best utilize deuce and jozy together, in concert, with the rest of the team. 4-4-2, yes, 4-5-1, yes, 3-5-2, yes..... 4-3-3, sorry, its the odd formation out.

Matt said...

This whole nationality debate is a sideshow, and it kind of reminds me of a great Mark Cuban rant on Stephen Smith recently. Cuban basically castrated Smith for his inability to analyze the tactics in a game and determine why one team won or lost, instead chalking it up to one team "wanting it more".

The loss to Honduras seemed to be more about bad tactics than heart or paying your dues.

Maybe--just maybe--we could say there are some team chemistry problems when portions of the team don't speak English (Chandler), but I'm not sure how much of an impact that had.

Anyway, agree with Jay, et al, let's stop talking about this dual nationality stuff like we own these kids. There is this little trend called globalization, and it sure as shit ain't going away, so we should just deal with it, good or bad.

dikranovich said...

no offense to mark cuban, but that is club ball, and we are talking about the national team, the US national team.

matthew, go ask a brazilian why they call it selecao, it sure aint because someone can just waltz onto the team.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ heythisisrobbie: I have no idea why Klinsi does half the stuff he does, including leaving out Mix.

@ dikranovich: We have already established that the US has in no way been playing a 4-3-3.

Unknown said...

@dikranovich: I have been a frequent reader of this blog for several years and an occasional commenter. I pretty much stopped posting when you started posting. I think its admirable to have strong opinions (and you clearly have strong opinions), but your comments are often abrasive and even confrontational. It's ok to disagree with someone, but you might be better served by respecting them, too. Anonymity on the internet doesn't entitle people to be disrepectful or mean.

dikranovich said...

kevin, nothing hurts more than the idea that my voice, or my opinion is silencing others from stating theirs. thats the truth, because i know what it feels like to have my opinion silenced. it stinks!!!

i hope you will remain a frequent reader and will speak up more. debating these topics is not a bad thing. come on!!!

us soccer will be better for having the difficult discussions, in an open forum.

it is my opinion that the tim chandler situation has made the USA look a little weak and wanting. it was not handled maybe as well as it could have been and it sets a bad tone for future players who may choose a similar strategy.

in fairness, this has all occured during the watch of two regimes, so that does have to be taken into account. and fifa has come up with the one time switch rule, so USA is playing within the rules.

kevin, i think in reality, this discussion is not even about duel nationals, its more about culture, and the kind of soccer culture we are infact cultivating.

what do you think about a two goal lead being the most dangerous lead in soccer, myth, or fact?

Timmy said...

dikranovich - How would you have handled the Chandler situation? I don't think anything is gained from throwing an ultimatum at a 20+ year old soccer player. "Accept our call in/get cap-tied now, or we will never call you in again."

Sure, I'd prefer if Chandler was as exuberant about putting on the USMNT uniform as Boyd is, but that's not the reality of the situation.

I'd also be interested in which players do you think have been "gifted" roles. Despite the game he had against Honduras, there wasn't a better RB available for that game than Chandler.

dikranovich said...

timmy, i see your side of the story. for years, USA has been searching for quality players, and i guess you cant look a gift horse in the mouth.

the funny thing is that we are producing so much more talent today at home than a generation ago, and as this is happening, we are also expanding the search for ever more talent abroad.

maybe it just comes down to respecting the jersey, and lord knows it surely aint just duel nationals that have disrespected the jersey and wearing the jersey carries a lot of weight.

if we are going to expect a higher standard on the field, then we have to expect that standard to carry on off the field as well, and yes, that includes a player desiding whether or not to partake in a crucial tournament such as gold cup.

dikranovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Seltzer said...

Dude, you exist in a reality of your own creation - which would be fine if it didn't cause you to be so persistently insulting about matters you assume as fact.

dikranovich said...

greg, lets talk soccer!!!! if you guys are really insulted, then it is not how i am saying it, rather, it is what im saying that insults you. fragile senisbilities and fragile egos, and that makes it extra hard to win.

Greg Seltzer said...

More bullshit.

Greg Seltzer said...

The funny/sad part is you don't seem to realize you're still doing it in the replies after it's pointed out.

Jay said...

"I may be the common denominator, but really, it's everyone else's fault and not mine."

Timmy said...

dikranovich- your 4:01 response from yesterday didn't answer my question. What would you do in such situations? If Timmy Chandler does not accept his first call up, you never, ever call him again? Is this only for dual nationals, or is Donovan's National Team career officially over?

dikranovich said...

im not sure id say never, ever, but when a player rejects a selection, it is only natural to question that players motivation.

players in the player pool should be motivated to play for the USA national team, not indifferent to it.

timmy, to answer your question, i dont know, i just feel like this whole situation could have been handled better, and maybe if a player shows indifference like chandler did, i would not be trotting them right out there to start a qualifier.

as to your point about donovan, i think it is safe to say that donovan has done more for his country than timmy chandler and each situation is looked at differently.

i always like jimmy johnsons quote about his teams. he said "i treat all the players the same; differently."

Greg Seltzer said...

Dude, what does it take for you to comprehend that Chandler was struggling with form and simply chose to focus on the team that, ya know, employs him? How hard is this?

Jay said...

Taking someone at face value is unreasonable, Greg, don't you know that? You shouldn't ever trust someone or even just accept that they aren't always lying to you.

Greg Seltzer said...

Wait... when did the topic of conversation switch to my entire adult dating life?


dikranovich said...

sounds like a night to watch the classic tony scott directed, tarantino written movie, True Romance.

Greg Seltzer said...

That may be the best thing you've ever said. One of my favorite movies of all time.